It hasn’t been the smoothest couple of weeks for the Coeur d’Alene High football team and it didn’t get any easier in the first half against Post Falls on Friday night.
The Trojans played keep-away with three time-consuming drives but they couldn’t convert those possessions into points. The visiting Vikings stayed patient, eventually got their high-powered offense rolling and overpowered Post Falls 51-7.
Two-time defending state champion Coeur d’Alene (4-2, 1-0 Inland Empire League 5A) had dropped two straight after a 24-game winning streak. Coming off a bye week, the Vikings, who had slipped from to No. 5 in the 5A state rankings, were anxious to get back on track.
“Post Falls came ready to play and they did a good job of slowing the game down,” CdA coach Shawn Amos said. “In the second half we got things rolling a little bit. Our kids worked really hard these last two weeks. It’s amazing how many people jump off ship pretty quick. You find out who’s really in and who’s really out.”
Reece Mahaffy is most definitely in. The senior running back scored four touchdowns, including bursts of 76 and 66 yards. Mahaffy, filling in for the injured Marques Mort (back), ran for 205 yards on just 12 carries.
“The funny thing is we’ve been saying we need a run game,” Amos said. “I love my kid (junior quarterback Gunnar Amos) and all but we don’t want him throwing the ball 41 times. We can’t beat good football teams that way. We talked about getting Reece in more – we only had one running back – and he showed what we thought he was capable of.”
CdA, which ran only five offensive plays in the first quarter, scored on its sixth snap. Mahaffy slipped away from a couple of defenders near the line of scrimmage and sprinted 76 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter.
The Vikings took more time on their next series with a 75-yard drive, capped by Amos’ 8-yard keeper.
Post Falls had three scoring chances in the first half, but came away empty. All ended on downs inside the Vikings’ 25. Post Falls played without talented kicker Tim Mueller, but coach Jeff Hinz said there was no guarantee he would have attempted field goals.
“Against Coeur d’Alene you’re not going to win the game by kicking field goals and we needed to convert,” Hinz said. “We did play a little keep-away in the first half. Hopefully we were going to do that in the second half, too, but we just couldn’t convert a couple of times. Then we had a couple of turnovers and a botched punt and the game got away from us.”
The Vikings scored on the second play of the third quarter as Mahaffy escaped from a pair of Trojans and raced down the left sideline for the touchdown.
Post Falls executed a fake punt, with Kurtis Wiltse hitting Braden Davenport for 28 yards, and then capitalized when Joey Pfennigs connected with Ryan Morris on a 24-yard touchdown pass.
The score cut CdA’s lead to 24-7, but the Vikings responded 36 seconds later. Amos hit Camden Doering for 57 yards to the Post Falls’ 1 and Mahaffy scored on the ensuing play, boosting the Vikings lead to 31-7.